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The Creepiest Netflix Movies You Should Never Watch Alone

For those looking to be thoroughly spooked, Netflix is home to a wide array of unsettling horror movies, ranging anywhere from gory slashers to tense psychological thrillers. While you can find plenty of classic and popular titles that come and go periodically, the streaming service is also home to a vast collection of original titles that can only be streamed on Netflix.

When it comes to these exclusives, there are a host of movies that even horror veterans are likely to find appalling and appealing in equal measure. While you may be searching for a creepy flick to watch alone in the dark, these titles will likely leave you closing the app in a sheer panic if you don't have a friend close by.

To help you navigate the vast amount of Netflix exclusives the platform has to offer, here's a list of the creepiest Netflix films you should never watch alone.

The Ritual will scare you away from the woods

After the unexpected death of their friend, a group of old college buddies honors his memory by taking a trip to Sweden. Shortly after embarking on their hiking journey, one of the friends is injured, and the group decides to take a shortcut through the forest. After a series of eerie occurrences, the group becomes lost, turning what was supposed to be an adventurous trip commemorating their lost pal into a disturbing, dangerous affair.  

To credit both director David Bruckner and the actors, the film is at its strongest when it explores the relationship and interactions between the friends. As their sanity begins to slip, so does their friendship, showing just how fragile the bond between friends can be.

Based on the novel by Adam Nevill, The Ritual offers a perfect blend of a good story, creepy imagery, and a cast of likable characters. The natural eeriness of the forest, the growing tensions as the group becomes more lost and increasingly worse for the wear, and the inclusion of a sacrificial cult all make for a wonderfully frightening flick that's bound to keep us from venturing into the forest ever again.

Hush will keep you listening for the slightest sound

In Hush, Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) is a deaf, mute author who has moved into a remote house in the woods in an attempt to write her next book in peace. Unfortunately for the author, she gets trapped in a twisted life or death scenario when a stranger with a crossbow finds her isolated home. After the slasher makes his presence known, Maddie ends up in a living nightmare as she fights for her life against the masked killer. 

Not only is Hush one of the best horror films on Netflix, but it's also one of the most suspenseful films in the home invasion sub-genre, as evidenced by the film's impressive 92 percent critic score. The film is directed by Mike Flannigan, the man behind Gerald's Game and Before I Wake. Flannigan's expertise in tension-building and creepy storytelling shine through effortlessly in Hush, especially in regards to the film's use of sound and the lack thereof. Because Maddie is deaf, Hush uses the natural sound of a scene to help induce panic in viewers, as those listening to the film will be able to catch specific cues that escape the main character. And anybody watching will also start listening very carefully to everything around them, especially if they're home alone.

Before I Wake will keep you up at night

Dreams can function as a pleasant escape from reality, but what happens when those dreams cross the threshold into the real world? Even more importantly, what happens when your nightmares become a reality?

This is the dilemma present in Mike Flannigan's Before I Wake. The film follows Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and her husband Mark (Thomas Jane) who take in a foster child named Cody (Jacob Tremblay) after their own son passes away. Once Cody moves in, it becomes apparent to the new parents that Cody is reluctant to sleep. In a strange turn of events, Jessie and Mark learn that Cody's dreams become a reality, which is especially awkward as he keeps dreaming about their dead son.

When Cody begins to dream of Jessie's deceased kid, the dynamic in the house immediately changes as the parents struggle with accepting the passing of the son that keeps appearing in front of them at night. But once Cody's dreams turn to nightmares, the tone of the film changes from fantastical to terrifying. 

The film primarily tackles the grieving process and the damage it can do when not managed healthily. Losing a child is tragic, and Mark's and Jessie's emotions are understandably complicated regarding their parental role towards Cody. Before I Wake does a great job exploring the parents' loss while also featuring plenty of sinister imagery to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Gerald's Game will leave you gagging

Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, Gerald's Game is an excellent flick for both fans of King's books and lovers of suspenseful horror films.

In an attempt to rekindle their failing marriage, Jessie (Carla Gugino) and her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) take a vacation to their lake house. Shortly after arriving, Jessie and Gerald decide to engage in some light bondage, but Gerald has a heart attack immediately after he handcuffs Jessie to both bedposts, leaving her unable to escape and call for help. Confined to her bed with no food to eat and only a cup of water placed on a shelf above her head, Jessie must find a way to escape while also facing off against a starving dog and an ominous house guest that visits her at night. 

Gerald's Game is a brutal film to watch because of the sheer helplessness of the protagonist throughout the film. Her drive to stay alive and to free herself creates a sense of optimism and hopefulness that is undercut by a relentless and often brutal set of obstacles that Jessie must overcome to survive. And here's a little tip for you: don't eat before watching this film. Just trust us.

1922 is a freaky and fantastic Stephen King adaptation

Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) lives on a farm with his wife, Arlette (Molly Parker), and teenage son, Henry (Dylan Schmid). Though Wilfred and Henry adore their simple life, Arlette has other plans for the family. After she expresses her intent to sell the farm and move to the city with Henry, tensions quickly rise in the household. With limited options, Wilfred concludes that to keep his land, he must kill his wife. However, the plan to murder Arlette is just the first event that makes 1922 the most memorable and regrettable year in Wilfred's life.

1922 dives into the mind of a man willing to murder for his own personal gain. The film frames the narrative through Wilfred's telling of events. His inner monologues are eloquent and almost poetic, but when considering the terrible things he's done, Wilfred is truly an unnerving character to follow. But more terrifying than the murder itself is how Wilfred's murderous plot affects him and the people he loves in ways he never believed possible. The film doesn't shy away from showcasing the consequences of Wilfred's depraved actions, and if you're looking for a slow-burn horror film with a menacing main character, 1922 is definitely worth a watch.

The Perfection will make your skin crawl

After dropping on Netflix, The Perfection caused quite a stir online and for a good reason. While the film is considered controversial for its take on the #MeToo movement, it is without a doubt a frightening experience you won't want to endure alone.

The Perfection focuses on Charlotte (Allison Williams), a renowned cellist who was forced to leave an elite conservatory. When Charlotte begins a relationship with Elizabeth (Logan Browning), another cellist from the same music school, things quickly spiral out of control as Elizabeth becomes ill and begins to show strange symptoms. 

The Perfection is genuinely unsettling, primarily due to the strong acting of the two lead actresses. Both manage to be likable and simultaneously unpredictable, making for a wild ride. Despite the twists and turns the story takes, one of the creepiest aspects of the film is its depiction of institutional abuse and the trauma associated with it. Due to the graphic imagery and disturbing implications throughout the film, The Perfection proves to be a thought-provoking yet rough watch. 

CAM will keep you off the internet

CAM is a unique horror film that's highly reminiscent of an excellent Black Mirror episode. The film follows Alice (Madeline Brewer), a cam-girl who aspires to rise to the top ranks of a cam-girl website. After a fake suicide on one of her shows, Alice's account is hacked by a person who looks and sounds identical to her. To get back her show and regain her identity, Alice must find the source of the copycat hacker. 

Not only is CAM a fun premise, the film smartly comments on how women are treated in the adult industry. Alice is an extremely likable, confident woman who is proud of her job as a cam-girl and the audience she has acquired. In a genre that commonly demeans and objectifies women, it is refreshing to see a woman onscreen taking control of her sexuality and representing cam-girls in a positive light. 

The creepiness in CAM largely stems from how easily someone's work and identity can be stolen online. Alice's life is instantly destroyed, and there's seemingly nothing she can do to protect herself. Because of the taboos surrounding her industry, there are very few resources that Alice can turn to for help. Considering just how easily accounts and even major corporations can be hacked online, the implications in CAM should be more than enough to make everybody delete their social media accounts and permanently log offline.

Bird Box will make you close your eyes in horror

At the end of 2018, an adaption of Josh Malerman's Bird Box became Netflix's most-viewed film in a matter of days. Packed with a star-studded cast and an exciting premise, it's no wonder the film became so popular.

Bird Box takes place in a frightening universe where invisible creatures drive anyone who looks at them to insanity. To avoid this fate, survivors must stay indoors and cover their eyes when navigating outdoors. Malorie (Sandra Bullock), an expectant mother, joins a group of survivors in hopes of safely waiting out the storm. With a child on the way and dwindling resources among the group, Malorie must not only protect herself but also find a way to safely raise her newborn child in the post-apocalyptic world. 

Bird Box presents a fascinating premise where survivors must restrict the use of their eyes, forcing them to find new ways to go on with their daily lives. Most of the horror stems from having characters walk around blindly, while mentally unstable people are trying to kill them. But the themes of motherhood and the fears associated with it add an extra level of horror that viewers are likely to find unsettling. Overall, Bird Box will make you want to close your blinds while you watch

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is everything the title promises

Serial killers are a staple of the horror genre, but more often than not, we associate these murderrs with characters like Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees rather than real life monsters. But in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the focus isn't on some fictional slasher but instead on Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer who murdered at least 30 women throughout the 1970s.

The film highlights Ted Bundy (Zac Effron) and his relationship with his girlfriend, Liz Kendall (Lily Collins), as they weather the police's growing suspicions of Bundy. Unknown to Liz, Ted is actively murdering people while they're together and constantly spinning lies to avoid detection.

What makes Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile an especially chilling watch isn't gory murders or tense action set pieces. It's just how charismatic this killer is. Ted Bundy was an actual murderer who killed real people, often by manipulating his victims into a false sense of security and preying on their goodwill. The film shows Bundy's confident, charming side, which he used to murder so many women, and knowing the extent of his crimes makes for a horrifying experience.

Cargo will make you worry about the future of mankind

Watching the downfall of society is terrifying in its own right, but adding zombies to the mix makes the apocalypse a whole lot scarier. Cargo is no exception.

Set in the Australian Outback, Cargo follows the trials and tribulations of Andy (Martin Freeman), a man who's survived the apocalypse, along with his baby daughter Rosie. Unfortunately, Andy's recently been bitten, and he only has a matter of hours before he turns into one of the undead. With precious little time left, Andy's priority is to find someone to raise his daughter after he turns into one of the walking dead. Along his journey, Andy befriends Thoomi (Simone Landers), a young Aboriginal girl also trying to survive alone, and together, the small group attempts to find refuge. With zombies roaming the land and malicious survivors looking for a fight, Rosie's future looks less and less optimistic.

Unlike many other zombie films, our hero Andy is bitten early on, fated from the beginning to die. As Andy's time diminishes and he becomes more like the undead, we see not just the decline of society but the fracturing of the family unit. Cargo plays on the fear of complete isolation and being mostly responsible for your own survival, unable to seek out the help of others in society. To guard against the feeling of existential loneliness, it would probably be best to watch Cargo with a friend.

Apostle brings the blood and gets gory

In Apostle, cultists living on a remote island kidnap a woman and hold her for ransom. Sent on a mission to rescue his sister, Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) makes his way to the island to save her. While covertly living among the cult members, Thomas must navigate the island stealthily and play the role of a devout follower...or else he will be tortured. These threats paired with the sacrifices that each villager must make to please their pagan deity make for a genuinely disturbing story

One of the bloodiest movies on Netflix (we're talking a whole lot of gore), the film features horrific rituals, creepy creatures, and impressive action scenes. And when our hero discovers the full extent of what's happening on this island, he realizes he's caught up in something much darker than he bargained for.

As the film progresses, the beliefs of the cult are slowly revealed, and the aggressive enforcement of those ideas helps to create a sense of imminent dread for much of the film. Apostle is the perfect creepy film for any viewer who feels a cold shiver run down their spine at the sight of bodily harm and blood. 

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House will leave you haunted

Directed by Oz Perkins, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House follows the story of Lily Saylor (Ruth Wilson), a live-in nurse who's hired to assist Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss), a retired writer with dementia. Once Lily begins to settle into the old house, a series of strange events start to occur, such as mold appearing on the walls and figures of ghostly beings roaming the halls. After finding drafts of one of Iris' books detailing a murdered couple who once lived in the house, Lily suspects the account isn't fictional, and that the home might be a little bit haunted.

For fans of paranormal thrillers, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House makes excellent use of the haunted mansion's creepy atmosphere, with plenty of slow pans and dark lighting for unnerving effect. Instead of relying on jump scares and constant threats, the film is more reserved, slowly building up the paranormal happenings in Iris' home. For viewers who may be tired of watching tweens shrieking at CG ghosts and specters, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House offers a refreshing change of pace that's likely to keep you awake at night. 

Clinical will make you suspicious of your own mind

While serial killers, gory kills, and dark lighting all make for a creepy experience, sometimes the scariest scenarios are a film's psychological elements. 

In Clinical, Dr. Jane Mathis (Vinessa Shaw), a psychiatrist, struggles to move on with her life after she's attacked by one of her patients. Relentlessly tortured by the idea that she failed in her role as a psychiatrist, Jane steps away from treating trauma patients to focus on her own well-being. Just as she's beginning to make progress, Jane receives a request from a man suffering from trauma after an intense automobile accident. Moved by the man's plight, Vanessa agrees to help him, but doing so has its consequences. Trying to juggle her mental health while also fulfilling her promise to her new client begins to take its toll.

What separates this creepy Netflix horror film from other movies is that it plays with the concept of how scary a person's own mind can be when they're not in control of it. Ghastly figures manifesting during sleep paralysis and an unstable reality all come into play, showing that sometimes the most severe and dangerous struggles are constructed inside our own minds.